BURGESS Hill Girls creates students who stand out from the crowd by embracing every individual’s uniqueness.
This independent school in the heart of Sussex is proud to be excellent, proud to provide the very best education and proud to develop outstanding young women ready to face the world.
Head Liz Laybourn explained: “We aim high. We expect our girls to be big and bold, brave, bright and brilliant – traits that make them stand out from the crowd – without being pretentious and losing sight of the privilege bestowed on them.
“We want our girls to be interesting and interested, to have soft skills necessary to survive in a very competitive world and if they are in a crisis to be able to deal with it and come out smiling.
“We have brilliant children who come with individual needs, gifts and talents and we don’t try to mould them. We offer them opportunities that will help them find their hidden talents and passions in order to develop into the person they want to be. Pupils get to find their own way with help from staff who go that extra mile.”
Pride in her pupils is justified – girls are charming and engaging and genuinely display a love of learning.
With 500 pupils, each girl is known, they can’t hide and get lost amongst the masses. “We are small enough to truly care about every girl but big enough to compete against the very best schools. Our girls carry a very high currency and they are in great demand,” explained Mrs Laybourn. All pupils are treated equally and contribute to the school ‘family’. “Everyone has a role to play within our school community and therefore deserves equal respect.”
Pastoral care is of huge importance – students see their tutor every morning and lunchtime, Lower School girls have a pastoral mentor, Sixth Form pupils act as mentors while year 10 and 11 pupils have an academic mentor too. The Lower and Upper Section Leaders play a vital role too.
Based on a 14 acre site, the school is divided into separate sections according to age. The unique building layout creates an intimate feeling. The Nursery, which welcomes both girls and boys, is open 51 weeks a year and offers a variety of sessions to suit all needs. Bright colours adorn the walls, smaller classrooms create a nurturing feel while the large outdoor play area gives plenty of space for fun and adventure.
Reception and Years 1-2 (EYFS) are based in the same beautiful building above the nursery and along with welcoming classrooms has its own library and hall, ensuring the transition into “proper school” is not too overwhelming.
Junior School offers a nurturing environment where girls embrace new opportunities and experiences. With its own science area, music school, art studio, computer room and hall, Junior School offers a full range of learning experiences that challenge young minds and create students who want to learn.
Senior school has undergone significant maintenance work over the summer, creating a modern learning environment with first class facilities. Focus is always on enabling pupils to achieve their full potential. As well as a rigorous and exciting academic foundation the school enables girls to develop the essential soft skills and confidence to make their way in the world beyond school and become leaders of the future.
The Learning Resource Centre is home to 10,000 books, audio tapes, DVDs and a bank of computers where girls undertake independent study.
Whilst academic achievement is a main focus at Burgess Hill Girls so is everything creative, sporting and artistic. The dressage team is fifth in the country for their age – quite an achievement when there is not a single horse on site! Music and drama are outstanding with regular concerts and plays making the most of the stunning Croft II performance space that underwent a million pound redevelopment last year. More than 200 girls play an instrument. Textiles produces award winning work. Art, which can be seen throughout the school, is exceptional and of the highest quality. Following the phrase ‘Sport for All’, a wide range of activities are offered to all girls to promote a healthy lifestyle. Girls compete in many local, regional and national competitions and are incredibly successful.
Sixth Form provides the perfect stepping stone from school to university. It provides the foundation for their future, giving girls opportunities to stretch themselves, make decisions and take responsibility for their learning. Whilst Sixth Formers do use the main school for many lessons, the recently extended and upgraded Sixth Form building offers a mix of classrooms, spacious common rooms for relaxing, socialising and studying, as well as a kitchen area for making snacks and drinks.
Help in finding the right university or each girl is crucial and Sixth Formers are offered extensive guidance throughout the application process, with significant numbers going to Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.
Burgess Hill Girls’ House System provides a friendly rivalry between the houses – Burns, Milton, Thomas and Yeats – and is the basis for a whole host of inter-house activities including a drama competition, quizzes and sporting competitions. Girls of all ages work together with one common goal – to be the best!
The Dining room is the bright, open yet homely centre of the school where staff and pupils eat together. Delicious home cooked meals are provided daily along with a full salad bar, jacket potatoes, homemade soup, fruit and very tempting puddings – there is quite simply something for everybody.
Whilst Burgess Hill is principally a day school there is some boarding. Boarding houses, set in lovely Edwardian buildings, offer mixed age accommodation on the edges of the school campus creating a homely feel, away from the main school site. Boarding is definitely an integral part of the school.
Burgess Hill Girls is a fabulous school that quite rightly boasts it provides the best academic and creative education for girls in Sussex.